September 14, 2011

Easy Homemade Chicken Stock

Growing up I remember my mother keeping every single piece of the chicken that we didn't eat to reuse for stock or gravy. Her frugality rubbed off on me from an early age and as an adult I attempt to reuse as much as possible in the kitchen. Not only does it reduce waste, but it's an easy way to keep costs down in recipes and meal planning. Often times home cooks can be intimidated by making stock from scratch, but is actually very easy and costs next to nothing to prepare. This is my recipe for chicken stock, which only takes 6 ingredients (plus water) and turns out delicious.

Many stock recipes use a multitude of vegetables and have lists of steps; this isn't one of those recipes. Everything that is seen in the photo is added to the chicken carcass and water, and that's the end of the ingredients. The ingredients are as follows:
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 8-10 Peppercorns
  • 1 Onion, wedged 
  • 3 Carrots
  • 2 Celery Stalks, leave on. The leaves contain most of the flavor for the broth, so the more leaves the better.
  • Chicken Carcass 
  • Water to cover the carcass. More water will need to be added throughout the cooking process as it evaporates.
I don't add salt to my stock. The salt from the roasted chicken is more than adequate for salting, and creates a great flavor on its own.

Now for the best trick I have learned. Use the steamer basket to keep all the ingredients weighed down. This gives the stock a nice flavor and keeps all the ingredients submerged during cooking.
I normally cook my stock on medium-low for 6-8 hours. Every hour or so check the water level and skim any foam off, adding more water as necessary. After the 6-8 hours take the stock off the heat and pour through a strainer, separating out the solids from the liquid stock.
Your stock should look something like the picture below.
Place the bowl of stock in the fridge overnight. After sitting in the fridge your stock should look like the picture below.
Skim off the thick layer of fat and throw away. Your stock is now finished and ready to use. I store my stock in freezer bags and take it out as needed.

That's it, simple and inexpensive. Homemade chicken stock is a great way to re-use the leftovers from a roasted chicken and makes enough stock for multiple uses.


  1. @Marina Thanks, it's really easy too!

  2. So happy to find this site, absolutely love it.

    BTW, thanks for the visit :)

    (New Follower)

  3. @Debbie, thanks for the sweet comment :)

  4. Wow, I never thought of that, that's such an excellent idea!

  5. Looks good! I wanna try this. I'm always on the lookout for new recipes. Thanks! :)

  6. I love homemade stock. I usually just throw in whatever I have lying around--LOL! You are right about the celery. My mom taught me that trick. I don't know why, but I haven't used peppercorns and usually use pepper. But I will change that next time! Thanks!

    1. I throw in a lot of what I have in the fridge also, especially when I'm making veggie stock :) Pepper would probably work fine, I just like using peppercorns and then salting and peppering when I make the dish. Honestly, though it would work either way.

  7. I like to make Chicken Noodle Soup but usually buy stock. I won't now! I can't wait to use your recipe :->

    1. I love chicken noodle soup also, yum! It really is great using homemade stock, the flavor is great!


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